Community Blog

This blog space is for the European Leadership Academy alumnae to share their vision on relevant topics shaping Europe’s twin transition, the quest for equality and the future of technology.
The views and opinions expressed in this section are those of the alumnae and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the European Leadership Academy.


From Student to Ambassador: A Two-Year Odyssey within European Leadership Academy

A journey two years long, yet astonishingly rich in experiences, serves as a testament to the transformative power of the European Leadership Academy (ELA). I would not exaggerate in saying that these two years have been the brightest period of my life so far - filled with the laughter of new friendships, top-level learning from global thought leaders, the beauty of travel destinations and the pursuit of dreams. Also, I could not be more grateful and proud to be the alumna of the inaugural School for Female Leadership in the Digital Age. It is a privilege to witness how far both this idea and I have evolved. Let’s have a look: 

July 10, 2021.
I remember this day very vividly - I was enjoying the summer holidays, carelessly ... read more

Alisa Uzarina on 27/09/2023

The Magic of Women Leadership

From a very young age, I was mainly surrounded by men. School, university, social & work environment - in most cases, men were a clear majority. I have to say, it never really bothered me; quite the opposite, it allowed me to become who I am today. I watched them and learned, I followed and I led, but it was not until I spent a week at the European Leadership Academy that I genuinely understood the magical power of being surrounded by women leaders.
Being surrounded by so many incredible women leaders has taught me more than I could ever imagine learning in such a short period. Here, I want to share some of the most important lessons I took away from this experience.

Don't Be Afraid To Learn<... read more

Giedre Krotovaite on 22/09/2023

LEADER - 6 Letters, 6 Examples, 6 Pieces of Advice

I vividly recall a conversation at work where we were discussing each others’ management approaches, and my colleague exclaimed: “But does she want to be a leader, or a boss?". To me it was obvious even before that a boss and a leader are not the same, but after this conversation I found myself often assessing behaviour from this perspective. What is a true leader, and how do they differ from a boss?

1. L - Listening

While leaders often rise to their positions by making their individual voices heard, true leaders understand the importance of active listening. Besides gaining trust, it also allows for a deeper understanding of situations. The smartest manager I have ever worked with is my current director. I am sure part of ... read more

Alisa Uzarina on 13/06/2023

Lead others as you wish to be led

In a world that's searching for guidance and sustainable change, I continually ponder the essence of leadership and how to lead in a way that transcends boundaries, amplifying unheard voices and bringing them to the forefront.

Leadership, to me, is a powerful force that inspires change and lifts others. Through my journey at the European Leadership Academy, I realised that the responsibility I have as an aspiring teacher is to make a lasting impact on the next generation. In my opinion, a leader represents more than just their own journey; they embody the diversity of their community. It is crucial for women to see women as leaders, breaking free from societal limitations and stereotypes. Through my cousin's example I learned that leadership knows no bounds. She has a gentle heart ... read more

Kosovare Sallahu on 13/06/2023

From borders to bytes: how the EU’s motto is bridging divides with digital technologies

In varietate concordia. Once adopted by Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, an Italian journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, these Latin words became the motto of the European Union. Even though it may not be so well known as an EU symbol, 'United in diversity' illustrates well Europe's pluralistic nature.

There is something exciting about exploring the remotest parts of the world. Even so, I must admit, Europe hides so many gems, that one life isn't enough to discover them all. Moreover, thanks to the EU single market and Schengen Area, as well as technological developments, crossing borders has become almost seamless.

As we all know, Europe comprises about fifty separate, sovereign countries (with 27 part of the EU), each with its unique history, culture, nature, and ethnic make-up. Let's ... read more

Alisa Uzarina on 09/05/2023

Europe uniquely brings us together in the digital age

I often look at Europe with a proud daughter sentiment. My ancestors’ roots may not be Germanic or even Slavic, but like every European I share the same legacy: this wonderful construct that is the EU.

Listening, collaborating, supporting… we all take those for granted and often forget how far Europe has come from; a continent that was once perpetually  harmed by lasting wars, ridden by cultural misunderstandings, slowed by endless circles of rebuilding, now an example of hope and peace.

Populism tries to make us believe that « before » and « alone » were better, but the external viewpoint I have as a daughter of immigrants leaves me perplexed at this idea.

Would there really be progress without the free circulation of thoughts ... read more

Cara Doumbe Kingue on 09/05/2023

An identity called 'diversity’

I am a post-Maastricht baby: I was born in the European Union just a few days prior to the official introduction of the single currency, attended a high school that offered a curriculum in European studies (inspired by the Maastricht Treaty itself), never needed a passport to travel abroad, have countless international friends and won an Erasmus+ scholarship to study in a country other than my own for a year (this plan sunk, but for reasons that are less relevant to world history and for which it’s not the EU to be held accountable).

This means that, although it took quite some time to learn how the EU machinery works and what comes with it, growing up I didn’t go a single day without knowing that I’... read more

Alessia Ruta on 09/05/2023

Breaking Stereotypes: Encouraging Girls to Pursue Careers in STEM

As we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day, we are reminded of the importance of promoting diversity and inclusivity in tech. Despite progress being made, there's still a gender gap in STEM fields that needs to be addressed. In fact, according to a report by the European Commission, women make up just 33% of the science and technology workforce in Europe. This lack of diversity is concerning, especially when you consider that STEM fields play a crucial role in driving innovation and solving some of the world's most pressing issues.

We must break down stereotypes and misconceptions about STEM careers, celebrate the achievements of women in these fields, and showcase the vast array of career opportunities available to them. It's time to challenge the stereotypes that often dissuade girls from ... read more

Jana Havránková on 27/04/2023

Women in STEM: A local and EU perspective

What comes into your mind when you hear my country's name – Latvia? Medieval towns, lakes, chilly seaside? But what if I tell you that we are also proud of having the fastest WiFi speeds in the world? And let me astonish you – Latvia leads in women leadership in innovations among the EU and European Patent Office member countries. The share of women among the total number of Latvian researchers is even a little over half.

Natural development has led to this accomplishment. When you are used to men being in certain sectors or positions, it is difficult to break the habit of thinking that only a man can do that job. In Latvia women have traditionally worked in health and agricultural sciences, as well as in teaching.

... read more

Alisa Uzarina on 27/04/2023

From Underrepresented to Unstoppable: A Guide to being an Unstoppable Woman in STEM

In the dynamic and ever changing landscape of tech, women have historically encountered significant challenges and barriers in a field dominated by men. However, things are finally starting to change as more and more women are breaking through these barriers and making their mark. In this article, we’ll be exploring practical insights and strategies for girls and women pursuing a career in ICT, so that they can surpass limitations and emerge as trailblazers and changemakers.

Tip 1: Beyond the Classroom – Turning Subjects into Passions
Gone are the days where traditional lectures and courses are sufficient for staying updated with the latest ICT trends. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to pursue extracurricular activities and side projects that spark ... read more

Amy Calleja on 27/04/2023

The Power of Diversity: Why More Women Leading in STEM is Necessary to Drive Positive Change

Have you ever wondered why some of society’s most pressing issues remain unresolved? The technology and education seem to be available, yet we still struggle to identify effective solutions to global problems including climate change, inequality, and poverty. One reason may be that we are not harnessing the power of diversity.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition that diversity in backgrounds leads to diversity in perspectives, which in turn can lead to more innovative and inclusive solutions. Our best problem-solving is often born from interactions because we need to collaborate to hone in on the multifaceted problems of the world we live in to provide the best solutions. By this logic, diverse profiles tackling a given problem in collaboration will allow a problem to be solved in ... read more

Breaking the Mold: Fostering Gender Diversity in Technology

I am a woman in technology. I would like to say that I have always wanted to be an engineer, since it would indicate that we've made a big step toward encouraging girls at a young age to seek professions in technology. However, I only found this passion in my senior year of high school when I started taking programming classes. Being a woman in ICT entails being part of a community of dynamic, bright, and accomplished women who are enhancing the standard of living in our society today and in the future.

Since 2011, the fourth Thursday of April has been International Girls in ICT Day. It was created by the International Telecommunication Union to promote girls' engagement in the technology field. Not only will women profit from their participation, but ... read more